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Why are Modern Bikes So Expensive?

Old 03-27-24, 05:42 PM
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Dave, since you ignored my post a few threads ago, I expect you to ignore this as well…

Why is Pogs using deep aero wheels on pure mountain stages? Stages where he flat dominates everyone? Stages where he is displaying his early season form for the cycling world to worry about? On mountains where he is blowing all the ascent records to pieces… on an aero bike with aero wheels…
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Old 03-27-24, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Sigh.. has anyone here been on fast group rides? Or raced? On the flats weight doesn't matter obviously. Aero doesn't matter either because you're sheltered in the pack 90+% of the time coasting along at 100 watts. I suppose if you were some disposable domestique on some pro team, required to lead the team until you were spent and shelled off of the back like a soiled Kleenex, then aero would matter. Or it might help you if your thing is pointless breakaways 50 miles from the finish, but you're going to get caught eventually anyway.

The thing that shells you off the back are the hard climbs and repeated fast accelerations out of corners. There aero doesn't matter either, whereas weight, particularly wheel rotating weight is everything. How much weight matters - you tell me. When you desperately clinging onto a wheel giving it everything you have, then grams can make all the difference. Everyone here should know the panic of seeing the wheel ahead of you slowly drift away, with the knowledge that if the gap grows to 10 feet, you're done for the day.

If the arbitrary UCI weight limit were to be lifted, pro disc brake road bikes would disappear overnight.
Fortunately, although I have been a cyclist since the mid-70s and road competitively for decades, I participated in spirited group rides for 40 years. I can't say that I have experienced the above as a result of a few grams of wheel weight disadvantage.

Your tomes read like you have read "The Rider" by Tim Krabbe one too many times. Even in the Tour de France peloton, it is not the life and death struggle that you constantly refer to.
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Old 03-27-24, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Dave, since you ignored my post a few threads ago, I expect you to ignore this as well…

Why is Pogs using deep aero wheels on pure mountain stages? Stages where he flat dominates everyone? Stages where he is displaying his early season form for the cycling world to worry about? On mountains where he is blowing all the ascent records to pieces… on an aero bike with aero wheels…
Haven't you figured it out yet? The riders are all being forced to use sub-optimal gear by their teams, because of the demands of their sponsors. The teams don't care at all about riders being fast. Any team smart enough to follow Dave's advice will simply destroy everyone else because of the obvious superiority of 30-year-old wheel and tire configurations...and rim brakes.

Dave doesn't answer direct questions, or involve himself in discussions. He pontificates.
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Old 03-27-24, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Sigh.. has anyone here been on fast group rides? Or raced? On the flats weight doesn't matter obviously. Aero doesn't matter either because you're sheltered in the pack 90+% of the time coasting along at 100 watts. I suppose if you were some disposable domestique on some pro team, required to lead the team until you were spent and shelled off of the back like a soiled Kleenex, then aero would matter. Or it might help you if your thing is pointless breakaways 50 miles from the finish, but you're going to get caught eventually anyway.

The thing that shells you off the back are the hard climbs and repeated fast accelerations out of corners. There aero doesn't matter either, whereas weight, particularly wheel rotating weight is everything. How much weight matters - you tell me. When you desperately clinging onto a wheel giving it everything you have, then grams can make all the difference. Everyone here should know the panic of seeing the wheel ahead of you slowly drift away, with the knowledge that if the gap grows to 10 feet, you're done for the day.

If the arbitrary UCI weight limit were to be lifted, pro disc brake road bikes would disappear overnight.
I'm not saying anything about aero bikes. Obviously the drag on most road bikes people are using for club rides and amateur racing are not going to be different enough to make a huge difference. Obviously the rider body and position of that body are the biggest factors.

What I was referring to was your absurd obsession with grams. Are you really unable to hang with your group if your bike is a little heavier? How much weight are you talking about? How much difference does a little weight make in your position in the pecking order of your group?

35 years of doing thousands of group ride with hundreds (at least) of riders has shown me that the best climbers will be the first to the top of long climbs, the fastest sprinters will be at the front of any sprints, and the riders who put in huge miles will do the long, brutal group rides better than most of the rest. Minor changes in equipment, wheels, or gear will make little difference in any of that.

Most of my club riding has been at 220 pounds. When I get dropped, it's not because my wheels are 400 grams heavier than yours.
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Old 03-27-24, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Why is Pogs using deep aero wheels on pure mountain stages? Stages where he flat dominates everyone?
Last year's TdF stage 17 has joined the chat.

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Old 03-27-24, 07:23 PM
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If æro didn't matter, taking shelter in the pack would be meaningless.
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Old 03-28-24, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
How much weight matters - you tell me.
For acceleration out of corners, 400g on a wheel set barely registers on a stopwatch. A few hundredths of a sec at most. Crit racers and sprinters are all using aero wheels for a reason. You won’t be seeing competitive sprinters on super lightweight climbing wheels.

For climbing, 400g is worth around 20 secs per hour on a mountain climb, offset by any sailing effects in the wind. Super light wheels may offer a slight advantage depending on the gradient and wind conditions. But they may also be considerably slower in the wind.

If you take your head out of the sand and look around you might learn something new. But I know that isn’t going to happen.
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Old 03-28-24, 06:18 AM
  #333  
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Originally Posted by Eric F
The variety in the background of the foam-wrapped Colnago pic doesn't surprise me at all.
I just found the juxtaposition to be neat.
Wasn't knocking the shop or other bikes they sell.
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Old 03-28-24, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer

If the arbitrary UCI weight limit were to be lifted, pro disc brake road bikes would disappear overnight.
Average measured bike weight at last year’s TDF was 7.45 kg. So top level World Tour teams clearly don’t value weight saving quite as much as you obviously do.

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/p...e-bike-weights
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Old 03-28-24, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
For acceleration out of corners, 400g on a wheel set barely registers on a stopwatch. A few hundredths of a sec at most. Crit racers and sprinters are all using aero wheels for a reason. You won’t be seeing competitive sprinters on super lightweight climbing wheels.

For climbing, 400g is worth around 20 secs per hour on a mountain climb, offset by any sailing effects in the wind. Super light wheels may offer a slight advantage depending on the gradient and wind conditions. But they may also be considerably slower in the wind.

If you take your head out of the sand and look around you might learn something new. But I know that isn’t going to happen.
I have been looking a lot at the Iron Man Kona as that is a race that has had the same basic bike route (with some exceptions) over 40 years. Bikes of course have evolved significantly and a full aero Tri-bike - as raced by the vast majority of the top 10 finishers are vastly more aero and more advanced than any "road" bike, even a specialized ICI TT bike.

Times over that period have increased at the MOST by 5.1 seconds per mile. And again, we are comparing the old fashioned skinny tubed steel bike - which they started with - to the most modern AERO bike you can make now. Surprisingly, the whole race times are not that much different either - so it has not lead people to be "fresher" and able to "run" faster - at least not by a lot!

I would argue and firmly believe that for most everyone riding, all the changes on road bikes over the last 20 years have had a modest impact upon speed at best. Just ride what you like and be happy.

If you want to spend 15K on a bike, do it and be happy. If you don't, you can get a bike just as good, for much less and be just as fast and I would argue, just as happy!

Last edited by vespasianus; 03-28-24 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 03-28-24, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
I have been looking a lot at the Iron Man Kona as that is a race that has had the same basic bike route (with some exceptions) over 40 years. Bikes of course have evolved significantly and a full aero Tri-bike - as raced by the vast majority of the top 10 finishers are vastly more aero and more advanced than any "road" bike, even a specialized ICI TT bike.

Times over that period have increased at the MOST by 5.1 seconds per mile. And again, we are comparing the old fashioned skinny tubed steel bike - which they started with - to the most modern AERO bike you can make now. Surprisingly, the whole race times are not that much different either - so it has not lead people to be "fresher" and able to "run" faster - at least not by a lot!

I would argue and firmly believe that for most everyone riding, all the changes on road bikes over the last 20 years have had a modest impact upon speed at best. Just ride what you like and be happy.

If you want to spend 15K on a bike, do it and by happy. If you don't, you can get a bike just as good for much less and be just as fast and I would argue, just as happy!
I mostly agree with this. It is mainly down to the rider and marginal gains are vastly diminishing as you approach $15k bikes. But you can get most of the marginal gains over older bikes at a much more reasonable price.

There is certainly no point in whining about the additional weight of disc brakes or wider aero wheels like some do as if it makes them less competitive on their group ride!
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Old 03-28-24, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
Sigh.. has anyone here been on fast group rides? Or raced?
Yes, and yes. You aren't the only one here with racing experience, or experience being stretched out in a thin line in the gutter at 30+mph, or experience watching the wheel in front of you creep away and there's nothing more to give to hold on to it. I've done all of that. I did it for years.

Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
The thing that shells you off the back are the hard climbs and repeated fast accelerations out of corners. There aero doesn't matter either, whereas weight, particularly wheel rotating weight is everything.
It's time to wake up, and climb out of your stubborn little box. Your conclusions are backwards, science proves it, and we see it in action with the racers who have the most to win and lose from it.

Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
If the arbitrary UCI weight limit were to be lifted, pro disc brake road bikes would disappear overnight.
Nonsense. If bike weight were that much of a concern, every pro rider's bike would be at the allowable minimum, for every race. Fact: They aren't
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Old 03-28-24, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Dave, since you ignored my post a few threads ago, I expect you to ignore this as well…
Um, just a public service note for group consumption . . . .

Please don't bring dirty laundry (arguments, feuds, accusations) from one thread into another, especially involving the same individual(s). That can easily be interpreted as harassment. Thanks.
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Old 03-28-24, 03:56 PM
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The pros adopt high-performance gear as quickly as possible. They are not traditionalists; they take advantage of every second, watt and gram wherever possible within and often outside of the rules. Example: carbon frames, in which the pros like Lemond were on carbon well before the tech was ready for the market. Or the Vitus Carbone, which needed a few more iterations of development and larger tube sizes before it was fully cooked. Electronic shifting was adopted quickly as well.


However, when the pros drag their feet as long as possible on some tech, you know that the gear is sub-optimal and actually detracts from race results. Clearly discs are an example here, where the most competitive teams were the last to adopt discs, and then only on inconsequential flat stages. And the team leaders and climbers held out on rim brakes until the manufacturer pressure was impossible to overcome. But again, the entire industry and the pro tour itself exists to sell stuff.


Clinchers, and especially hookless is an even more glaring example. The pros absolutely don't want this, as their organization has publicly stated. Some lucky teams, who have the premium tire and wheel sponsors are still on tubulars, despite the impossibility of selling this to the gold-card weekend warrior. Doing the last-second wheel switcheroo or the hot label trick may fool or placate your wheel and tire sponsor.


And don't confuse the PR announcements on team gear choices with what gear is actually used on race day, particularly on the hilly stages. When placings are at stake, the pros pay out of their own pockets for Obermayer's (tubulars of course) thumb their noses at their official sponsors, and go for the win.


BTW: I'm going out for a ride on a carbon road bike with clinchers and hydraulic discs and 32mm GP5000 tires. But I would never be as deluded enough to think that this bike was as high performance as the same bike and model made 10 years earlier.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
The pros adopt high-performance gear as quickly as possible. They are not traditionalists; they take advantage of every second, watt and gram wherever possible within and often outside of the rules. Example: carbon frames, in which the pros like Lemond were on carbon well before the tech was ready for the market. Or the Vitus Carbone, which needed a few more iterations of development and larger tube sizes before it was fully cooked. Electronic shifting was adopted quickly as well.


However, when the pros drag their feet as long as possible on some tech, you know that the gear is sub-optimal and actually detracts from race results. Clearly discs are an example here, where the most competitive teams were the last to adopt discs, and then only on inconsequential flat stages. And the team leaders and climbers held out on rim brakes until the manufacturer pressure was impossible to overcome. But again, the entire industry and the pro tour itself exists to sell stuff.


Clinchers, and especially hookless is an even more glaring example. The pros absolutely don't want this, as their organization has publicly stated. Some lucky teams, who have the premium tire and wheel sponsors are still on tubulars, despite the impossibility of selling this to the gold-card weekend warrior. Doing the last-second wheel switcheroo or the hot label trick may fool or placate your wheel and tire sponsor.


And don't confuse the PR announcements on team gear choices with what gear is actually used on race day, particularly on the hilly stages. When placings are at stake, the pros pay out of their own pockets for Obermayer's (tubulars of course) thumb their noses at their official sponsors, and go for the win.


BTW: I'm going out for a ride on a carbon road bike with clinchers and hydraulic discs and 32mm GP5000 tires. But I would never be as deluded enough to think that this bike was as high performance as the same bike and model made 10 years earlier.
Your self-delusion and willful ignorance is pretty spectacular. However, continuing to spew the same nonsense over and over again is starting to get boring. Maybe try coming with some sources (recent and accurate) to support your claims.

EDIT: I have yet to see any indication that your experience or knowledge is superior to everyone else's. It's fine to have opinions and preferences, even if they're wildly different than everyone else, but making statements as if their irrefutable facts, without any references to support your claims, isn't going to get you very far.
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Last edited by Eric F; 03-28-24 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:30 PM
  #341  
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Your self-delusion and willful ignorance is pretty spectacular.
I think he’s pulling our chains. Too much of a caricature to take seriously. Better to just laugh at the joke, although I agree he needs some new material.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:32 PM
  #342  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
The pros adopt high-performance gear as quickly as possible. They are not traditionalists; they take advantage of every second, watt and gram wherever possible within and often outside of the rules. Example: carbon frames, in which the pros like Lemond were on carbon well before the tech was ready for the market. Or the Vitus Carbone, which needed a few more iterations of development and larger tube sizes before it was fully cooked. Electronic shifting was adopted quickly as well.


However, when the pros drag their feet as long as possible on some tech, you know that the gear is sub-optimal and actually detracts from race results. Clearly discs are an example here, where the most competitive teams were the last to adopt discs, and then only on inconsequential flat stages. And the team leaders and climbers held out on rim brakes until the manufacturer pressure was impossible to overcome. But again, the entire industry and the pro tour itself exists to sell stuff.


Clinchers, and especially hookless is an even more glaring example. The pros absolutely don't want this, as their organization has publicly stated. Some lucky teams, who have the premium tire and wheel sponsors are still on tubulars, despite the impossibility of selling this to the gold-card weekend warrior. Doing the last-second wheel switcheroo or the hot label trick may fool or placate your wheel and tire sponsor.


And don't confuse the PR announcements on team gear choices with what gear is actually used on race day, particularly on the hilly stages. When placings are at stake, the pros pay out of their own pockets for Obermayer's (tubulars of course) thumb their noses at their official sponsors, and go for the win.


BTW: I'm going out for a ride on a carbon road bike with clinchers and hydraulic discs and 32mm GP5000 tires. But I would never be as deluded enough to think that this bike was as high performance as the same bike and model made 10 years earlier.
Gosh, if only there were some way to prove or disprove that with actual numbers instead of handwaving and data-free assertions.
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Old 03-28-24, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I think he’s pulling our chains. Too much of a caricature to take seriously. Better to just laugh at the joke, although I agree he needs some new material.
You might be right.
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Old 03-28-24, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
You might be right.
He really commits to the bit, though.
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Old 03-29-24, 07:12 PM
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From listening to the podcast, it does seem like modern SOTA bikes are more expensive to design, test, and manufacture, alright. Lots of costs mentioned. Also interesting is Factor's marketing strategy of racing sponsorship and racing performance, which is hardly something I wish to complain about.

Very interesting perspective in the podcast, thanks for posting it.
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Old 04-01-24, 01:41 PM
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Some bike prices from 2001.





What I find interesting is not that the bike frame prices are cheap - the highest one is about $3200 today -but the weight of the bike frames and the overall weight of the bikes. Frames have gotten much lighter but components must have gotten much heavier to make up for the weight difference we see today.
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Old 04-02-24, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
What I find interesting is not that the bike frame prices are cheap - the highest one is about $3200 today -but the weight of the bike frames and the overall weight of the bikes. Frames have gotten much lighter but components must have gotten much heavier to make up for the weight difference we see today.
There are more cogs on the rear, hydraulic brakes are heavier, batteries for electronic shifting, and probably some other things I'm not thinking about.
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Old 04-04-24, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
Some bike prices from 2001.


What I find interesting is not that the bike frame prices are cheap - the highest one is about $3200 today -but the weight of the bike frames and the overall weight of the bikes. Frames have gotten much lighter but components must have gotten much heavier to make up for the weight difference we see today.
That $4700 top of the line Trek in todays dollars = 8k.
Todays top of the line Trek = 13k+/-.

The Look and Pinarello have an even bigger delta... way out pacing standard inflation.

And you could probably say that the CF manufacturing process back then was more expensive - new design and development, probably less automated... the Trek was probably hand made in the USA,, the Pinarello hand made in Italy... Look bikes hand crafted in France... not anymore.
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Old 04-04-24, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
That $4700 top of the line Trek in todays dollars = 8k.
Todays top of the line Trek = 13k+/-.

The Look and Pinarello have an even bigger delta... way out pacing standard inflation.

And you could probably say that the CF manufacturing process back then was more expensive - new design and development, probably less automated... the Trek was probably hand made in the USA,, the Pinarello hand made in Italy... Look bikes hand crafted in France... not anymore.
Design and development costs today are far higher. More specialist engineers, wind tunnels etc.
Asian labour is cheaper, but there is lot more involved in producing monocoque cf layups vs bonded carbon tube. If they were manufactured in the US today then they would be even more expensive.

$8k today still buys you a bike technically well in advance of what was on the market back then.
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Old 04-04-24, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
$8k today still buys you a bike technically well in advance of what was on the market back then.
And the bikes on the market "back then" were "technically well in advance of what was on the market" from the 1940s. So what's you point?
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